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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old July 15th, 2007, 04:25 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bondville, Vermont
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My Wedding Contract


I wrote up this wedding videography contract yesterday and I was wondering if any of you would please be so kind as to give me some tips, if any. Please let me know what you think of it.

Any opinions (both positive and negative) are more than welcome.



1. The bride and groom must read and sign this wedding videography contract. All parties must agree to all terms of the contract before any services are rendered.

2. All audio and video footage is the copyrighted property of SILVER DRUM VIDEO. SILVER DRUM VIDEO reserves the right to use any and/or all footage for promotional purposes.

3. A $250.00 non-refundable retainer is required to secure the wedding date. If the wedding is cancelled or the date is changed, the retainer is forfeited. An additional $100.00 non-refundable retainer will be required to secure a new wedding date. If the retainer is paid by check and the check is returned, the contract is void and the date is no longer secured.

4. A 50% non-refundable deposit is due no later than 2 weeks before the scheduled wedding date. If the deposit is not received by that time, the contract is void and the date is no longer secured. The balance will be due before the finished product is delivered. Also, client agrees to send to SILVER DRUM VIDEO a complete itinerary of all events.

5. It is the sole responsibility of the client to secure permission of the church, synagogue or other officials to film the ceremony. The deposit is non-refundable if such officials prevent filming.

6. Due to liability reasons, raw footage is not included in any packages offered.

7. The bride and groom agree that SILVER DRUM VIDEO must be the sole creator and provider of all music used in the wedding video. No commercial, copyrighted music may be used UNLESS the bride and groom both agree to secure the necessary licenses (i.e., Mechanical License AND Synchronization License) from the respective music copyright holders and publishers. If the bride and groom do decide to secure said licenses, they must also agree and fully understand that this can and will dramatically increase the costs and length of time before the video is actually completed. NO EXCEPTIONS.

8. SILVER DRUM VIDEO will take utmost care to produce a tape of good quality. However, we will not be held responsible for circumstances beyond our control, including but not limited to power failure, equipment malfunction, and defective tape stock or client misuse of equipment. If filming is prevented due to such occurrences, all money paid will be refunded. SILVER DRUM VIDEO makes no guarantees, either expressed or implied, in regard to aesthetic qualities of the completed video. SILVER DRUM VIDEO recommends all clients to purchase adequate wedding insurance to cover such instances.

9. The bride and groom agree that SILVER DRUM VIDEO must be the sole professional wedding videographer. Any friends and/or relatives are more than welcome to film the event provided that they do not interfere with the professional wedding videographer in any way, shape or form. The bride and groom are more than welcome to include footage from the cameras of their friends and family members in the wedding video; an additional charge will apply (Only MiniDV and HDV will be accepted).

10. The bride and groom must also agree to provide SILVER DRUM VIDEO with a seat and a meal during the rehearsal dinner and the reception.

11. All weddings and events that are located 30 miles or more from Bondville, Vermont must include overnight accommodations and will also incur a gasoline surcharge.

12. SILVER DRUM VIDEO reserves the right to make all creative decisions during editing and post-production. After delivery, the bride and groom will have up to 48 hours to notify the videographer of any errors. All technical errors will be fixed free of charge. All creative errors will incur a fee of $25/hour. After the 48-hour period, no further changes will be made and the video will then be considered final.

13. Your wedding day will be shot and filmed in HDV (High Definition) format using a single-CMOS digital camcorder. It will be edited on a Mac using Final Cut Express HD, LiveType (for titles), and Soundtrack (for music). The final, finished product will be mastered to a Standard Definition DVD and will be completed and delivered to you within 2 to 3 weeks after the wedding.

_______________________________________________ DATE:____/____/____

_______________________________________________ DATE:____/____/____
Adam Barker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 15th, 2007, 07:14 PM   #2
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will be completed and delivered to you within 2 to 3 weeks after the wedding
Wow, I get 2-3 done in a week.

I dont know about you, but I require 1/2 down at signing.

Good call on not releasing raw footage.
I like how you require to be fed. I wont eat Hotel/Cater food anymore, I eat right before I show up, or bring something. I can only handle Chicken choked on Blue so much.

I put a clause in mine that states if anything happens to my equipment, from guests, DJ's, B/G, from anyone, they are responsible.

I had a volleyball hit my lens at full speed, it broke and they were responsible for replacing the lens.
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Old July 15th, 2007, 07:22 PM   #3
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Location: Denver, Colorado USA
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Anything that has to do with money, retainers, deposits I'd put first. My clients never read my agreement.

I'd also put a "however" clause in #13. If you deliver later than 3 weeks you're in breach.

But most importantly, you need a liability "cap" in there somewhere. Something like:

"and if we fail to comply with the terms of this contract due to mechanical failure, theft, accident, weather, auto failure or other mishap beyond our reasonable control, our liability is limited to the refund of all deposits paid."

Finally, run your agreement past your attorney. You're getting free advice here. (And if I were the ultimate authority on contracts I certainly wouldn't be recording weddings on the weekends).
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Old July 16th, 2007, 01:39 AM   #4
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It sounds good to me. It isn't worded in a threatening manner, but it clearly spells out your requirements. It is a tough balance before it sounds like a contract is antagonizing to the couple.

One thing I don't like:

"they do not interfere with the professional wedding videographer in any way, shape or form."

What shape would interference be in? Square, trapezoid, rhombus?

It just sounds weird. Perhaps you could just delete "shape" and "form" so it just says "in any way"?
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Old July 16th, 2007, 02:14 AM   #5
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i'm not sure there's much point in saying what you shoot with and what you edit with (point 13)?
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Old July 16th, 2007, 08:08 AM   #6
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Not bad, but I think any couple which actually read this might find it questionable in some areas. Why so many deposits? What does liability have to do with raw footage? What do you mean you don't guarantee aesthetic quality? Try reading this as if you were a customer and see how you feel about it...

Also, in item (4) I would say the balance is due when the video is finished, not when it's delivered. This is a minor point, but if someone were to avoid or refuse delivery they could try to quibble on this point, which they can't do if you say the balance is due when the work is completed.

I agree with the comment by someone else that item 13 is overly specific about equipment. If something happens which requires you to use any other camera, computer or software you'd be in breach of contract, and there's no reason to set yourself up for that. Also, 'within 2 to 3 weeks' for delivery is a bit vague and sets you up for problems if anything (e.g. sickness) slows you down by even a few days. 90 days is a more reasonable guaranteed time frame and makes you look good if you finish early.

On a related note to item 13, what do people feel is their responsibility if they happen to miss their promised delivery date? The consumer advocate at one of our local TV stations has advised couples to insist on a partial refund for each day a wedding video is late, but I can't think of any videographer who would agree to such terms. Does anyone specify in their contracts what they'll do for the client if they are late, and if that isn't specified how might a court interpret this?
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Old July 16th, 2007, 08:57 AM   #7
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I think you set yourself up for a lot of headaches by promising a delivery date. I give a ball park, but that largely depends on volume, clients issues such as suggestions etc. I can easily see the 2-3 weeks becoming an issue and a point of contention. That's my two cents. For those who can pump out 2 to 3 weddings a week, that's great.
What happens if I push the 'Red' button?
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Old July 16th, 2007, 12:59 PM   #8
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My 2 cents....

This contract is entered into by Company X (the “Company”) and _______________________ (“Bride”) and _____________________ (“Groom”) (collectively referred to as “Couple”) on this _____ day of _______________, _______.

The services rendered as part of this agreement as conditioned upon the signatures of the bride and groom or their authorized representative, stated herein.

I. Nature of Services. The Company will perform the services requested under this contract for the agreed fee. The date, time and price for the services rendered shall be more fully described on Exhibit A, the Company X Contact Information Sheet, attached hereto and signed by the Couple.

Please note that a retainer of one-third (1/3) of the total contract amount shall be due at the time this agreement is signed in order to secure the date requested for services. An additional one-third (1/3) deposit shall be due no later than fourteen (14) days prior to the event. The remaining one-third (1/3) balance shall be due upon delivery of the wedding package. In the event of a late payment, the Company reserves the right to assess a Fifty Dollar ($50.00) late fee.

The Couple may elect to establish a payment schedule. If the Couple agrees to a payment schedule, the details of the payment schedule shall be contained on Exhibit B, the payment schedule form, attached hereto. In the event the Couple establishes a payment schedule, all payments will be due on the dates stated in Exhibit B. In the event the Company receives a payment more than two days after the due date, the Company may assess a Fifty Dollar ($50.00) late fee for any payment received after the due date. Failure by the Company to assess a late fee on a delinquent payment will not waive its right to assess a late fee at a future date without providing additional notice to the Couple.

II. Receipt of DVDs Initial DVDs will be mailed approximately eight to twelve weeks after the date of the event. All revisions to the videos that involve any error or mistake on behalf of the Company will be corrected by the Company if notified in writing within seven (7) days from the receipt of the video.

Any other request for correction or any correction received after seven (7) days will be subject to an additional fee of Thirty-Five Dollars ($35.00) per hour.

III. Couple’s Obligations. It shall be the Couple’s sole responsibility to secure permission of all venues where filming is to take place. In the event the Couple fails to obtain permission from the venue prior to the date of the event and, notifies the Company at least 5 days prior to the date of the event, the Couple will forfeit all monies paid to the Company to date. In the event that the Company is not informed less than 5 days prior to the event that it will not be allowed to film a specific venue, the Couple shall be liable for the full amount of the contract.

It shall be Couple’s sole responsibility to inform the Company in writing at least 5 days prior to the event, as to any changes in the event’s time, date, and location. Failure to inform the Company of any changes will result in the Couple being liable for the full amount of the contract.

IV. Cancellation of Policy. Company may cancel this agreement at its sole discretion at any time either for cause or not for cause. In the event that the Company cancels this agreement not for cause, the Couple shall be refunded their deposit in full. In the event that the Company cancels this agreement for cause, it shall be entitled to all deposits paid. For purposes of this agreement, “for cause” shall mean a failure of the Couple to make any of the payments as described in this agreement according to the due dates described herein.

V. Copyright Protection. All video and audio footage is the copyrighted property of the Company X, LLC. The Company reserves the right to use any and all footage for promotional purposes and any other purposes to which they see fit. The video is strictly produced for the client’s private home use only. Any duplication or broadcast, including internet broadcast without the written consent of the Company is strictly prohibited. In addition, the Couple will assume all liability for any form of copyright infringement against Company or any other party to which copyrighted material may be broadcast. This includes any material dealing with photographs and music which may be captured on the Couple’s video.

VI. Force Majure. Company will not be responsible for any problems occurring due to a power failure equipment malfunction in inclement weather, defective tape stock or client misuse of the equipment or any other acts of God that may be contemplated in this agreement. If filming is prevented due to such occurrences on money paid less the original one-third (1/3) retainer will be refunded. Company makes no guarantees either expressed or implied in regards to the aesthetic qualities of the completed videotape or DVD.

VII. Limitations. The Company will use all reasonable efforts and care to produce a top quality video. The Company will be limited in liability to the amount of the retainer and remaining balance on the fees. Under no circumstances will the Company be held liable for any amounts greater than the value of the contract and money paid to date. The Company reserves the right not to video any nudity, profanity or anything else deemed as inappropriate by the Company.

VIII. Choice of Law. In the event that a dispute may arise under this contract, all disputes will be settled according to Ohio law.

IX. Sales Tax. 6.5% Ohio sales tax will be added to all packages and additional options.

X. In the event that any condition of this contract is deemed to be invalid by a Court of law, the other provisions will remain in full force and effect.

I have fully read and understand the terms and conditions of this contract. I understand the packages and services that I have selected above that are contained on the exhibits attached hereto.
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